Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rock Sunday

While living in rural England about a decade ago, we decided one Sunday morning that we wanted to go see some of the typical tourist spots.  We decided to go to Avebury stone circle, Stonehenge, and Salisbury Cathedral.  We informed our daughter who was about four years old at the time, that we would be taking a long car trip to visit Stonehenge.  She asked what Stonehenge was and we explained that it was a bunch of large stones in a circle.  Well, like any normal four year old she began to whine and complain about driving over an hour just to see some rocks.  "Well, if you don't want to celebrate Rock Sunday," I said.  "What's Rock Sunday?" she inquired now curious.  I explained that it was a British holiday to celebrate rocks and on that day all of the British people visit stone circles and such.  And just like that, SHE BOUGHT IT.  Oh, we had a glorious Rock Sunday.  We climbed on the rocks at Avebury and bought souvenirs at the Stonehenge gift shop.  (Yes, Stonhenge has a gift shop.  Commercialism at its finest.)  We attempted to visit an old fort but decided against it when we saw the entrance fee.  The fort was carved into a hill so there were lots of rocks there to take our daughters picture with.  But when we got to the cathedral, our daughter questioned why we were there.  There weren't any rocks.  Luckily the cathedral was undergoing renovations.  As we left the beautiful structure, I quickly pointed out the "Falling Rocks" warning sign on the scaffolding near the church.  Oh, she said in a knowing, pre-school way.  Overall, the day was a wonderful experience.  It wasn't until she was much older that we told her it was a ploy and Rock Sunday didn't really exist.  I think there was a little part of her that was crushed when she learned that.  But Rock Sunday will forever live on in our hearts and memories.  So to all of my British friends - Happy Rock Sunday.  May you be blessed with sweetly naive children :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Blame Game

According to Blogger, this is my 100th posting on my blog.  As yoda would say, "A momentous occasion this is".  And yet, I don't quite feel like there is anything momentous about this particular posting.  Its just the same as all the others.  I don't really have anything profound to say.  I'd rather just bitch about my daughter's extra-curricular activity.  It is a school affiliated activity and frankly, the program sucks.  They raised the price this year.  Last year it was $35.  This year it was $200.  Nice huh?  Now you'd think for that extra $165 we'd get more.  Wrong.  They have competed in half of their competitions and they still don't have their uniforms.  Wow.  So glad we paid for those.  They change the routine they perform on a weekly basis.  Nice, that won't confuse the girls.  And the best of all, the coaches tell the girls at every practice and performance that they suck.  Ok, they don't say suck, but they do tell them how horrible each practice and each performance is and that it is all their fault.  That's it.  Don't take any of the blame.  You're just the ones in charge of the program.  You're just the ones who thought up the whole routine.  You're just the ones who decided they should move up a division even though they weren't winning their lower division competitions last year.  This new higher division has requirements that our group doesn't even meet.  There are certain pieces of equipment that should be used that our girls have never laid their hands on but no, that's not the problem.  The problem is the girls.  Uh huh, whatever.  The program was fun last year.  Our daughter enjoyed it last year.  This year none of the girls want to be there at all.  They dread going to practice because they're just going to be told how bad they are at everything.  Yeah!  Way to motivate them coaches!  Send them to the school of hard knocks!  Use reverse psychology on them!  Yeah!  That'll work.  Nice to know we shelled out so much to have some "coach" take shots at our daughter's self-esteem.  I'm trying really hard to keep my big fat mouth shut on this one but my tongue is nearly bleeding from being bitten.  You don't mess with this mama lion's cub.  I feel a Polish hex coming on.  Look out!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Birth Day!

I heard it once, I don't remember where but someone once said "Babies come with hats".  It is true.  If you've ever seen a picture of a new baby, he or she is most likely wearing a hat.  You have the baby, they take it to clean it up and check it out and "ta-da" when it returns, it is wearing a hat.  I'm sure there is a reason for it.  I'm just not sure what it is.  All I know is babies come with hats.  I was reminded of this today because in the wee hours of this morning, my brother and his wife had their first baby.  (Yes, I became an auntie once again.)  It is a baby girl.  After finding out all of the details (length, weight, time of birth, etc. ), my next response since I live at a distance was to ask for a picture.  Through the marvels of modern technology, five minutes later I had picture in hand of the little bundle of joy.  And lo and behold, she was wearing a little hat.  And it was not just the average baby cap.  She was sporting a multi-colored, striped, toboggan style hat with not one, but two pom-poms on top.  She was stylin'.  For a twelve hour old, that's pretty impressive.  Who knew newborns had such fashion sense?  When my daughter came into this world, all she got was a little pink cap.  Not that I'm complaining but oh how the times have changed.  Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to say "congratulations" to my brother and sister-in-law and "welcome to the world" to their sweet little muchkin.  We are happy to have you as a member of the family. 
Let the spoiling commence!

Monday, February 21, 2011


So I have to clean my house.  Get rid of the clutter.  Well, at least most of the clutter.  See we have to make a video for front-runner to see when they tell her they have chosen us as a family for her.  (Please note the positive outlook.)  I have no idea what to put on this video.  Hubby and I went out and bought a new video camera.  Our old one still used tape.  So we went to Best Buy, which is an evil store, and an hour later we were the owners of a brand new digital video camera with optical zoom.  We left confused slightly as we usually do from Best Buy.  They are a good store but the sales people are amazing.  They can convince us to buy just about anything.  Not that its difficult.  I am a total shop-a-holic and Hubby is like a kid in a candy store when we go there.  But we always leave the store a couple hundred dollars poorer than when we entered and we're not sure how it happens.  But that's besides the point, the point here is we have the camera.  Now we just need to declutter the background and shoot the video.  I don't want to clean too much because I want to portray our home as it typically is.  Or more accurately as I would typically prefer it to be.  But even once we declutter, what are we supposed to put on this video.  I want to be truthful and informative but I don't want to scare her.  I want to make it funny but I don't want her to think we are total dorks.  I want her to like it and want to come and live with us except I have limited information about her and what she likes.  So I have nothing to relate things to.  Makes the process kind of difficult.  I try to come up with ideas of what to include and how to present it.  But I'm just not sure what to do.  So I am asking you.  Some of you know me.  Some of you even know hubby and our daughter.  If you know us well, what about us should we share and how should we share it?  If you don't know us well, what would you like to know about us?  What would you ask if you had the chance?  All I know is that I am at a loss and I need your help.  Pretty, pretty please.  If you comment, please do not use our real names.  I like our anonymity :) 
Thanks in advance my peeps!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I See London, I See France

I worry about our budget.  I also worry about losing weight.  So eating out at a Mexican restaurant is not the best idea I've ever come up with.  Little did I know that these two things would be the least of my worries.  We all piled in the car on what was a tremendously gorgeous day and headed to the local Mexican restaurant.  The sun was shining and there was a warm breeze blowing.  You couldn't have asked for a nicer day.  We arrived at the restaurant and parked our car.  I opened the car door as the wind picked up and . . . well . . . my skirt blew up somewhere around shoulder height.  There was nowhere to hide.  Luckily the restaurant has few windows and nobody inside saw.  Luckily there was nobody in the parking lot to see.  Unluckily, the restaurant is on the busiest streets in the entire city.  I tried my best to get control of the . . . um . . . situation but was only successful in holding down the front of my skirt.  Meanwhile, Hubby, in an effort to help me, I think, was rapidly poking me in the ass with his car keys.  He later claimed that he was trying to get the skirt down but it really felt like I was being assaulted.  I sat down and waited for the wind to die down and when it appeared to, I stood up again.  The key words there being "appeared to".  In fact it had not died down at all and the traffic whizzing by got a nice shot of my purple undies.  As a reflex, I again held down the front of the skirt and pressed my backside against the car to block the view.  Yeah, cars have windows about butt height.  So now I was basically panty-mooning everyone through my car door.  I finally was able to get things under control and walked bent in half holding my skirt with both hands into the restaurant.  It's ok.  Go ahead.  Laugh. 
The moral of the story:  Don't go out for Mexican on a Thurday :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Ovaries, My Business

So it finally came up.  The dreaded question that I knew would be lurking in the back of everyone's mind when we decided to adopt: "Can they not have any more children?"  First of all, bad enough question.  Second of all, it came from my mother.  She was "only asking because someone else had asked her", but secondhand or not, its still an invasive question.  I guess I just see this as a personal area that nobody should have any right to ask.  I guess I figured my mother would understand that without me having to actually verbalize it.  I guessed wrong.  This is one stereotype that needs to be done away with.  Just because someone decides to adopt doesn't mean there must be something wrong.  For those who are infertile, adoption is a wonderful option, but just like not all infertile couples choose to adopt, not all adoptive couples are infertile.  Adoption is a choice.  Not a last resort.  I have been, as far as I know, perfectly able to have another baby.  I mean, heck, it only took like a month or two to conceive the first one after we got married.  (Yes, I do see most people do the math in their head when they hear how close to our wedding our daughter came into the picture.)  We could have had a whole brood had we chose to.  We could have been our very own family Von Trap.  But we chose not to.  We chose to focus our energy and attention on our one.  Once she was off bottles, we didn't want to go there again.  Once she was out of diapers, we didn't want to go there again.  Once she was out of daycare, we didn't want to go there again.  I could really go on and on.  The point here is we chose to have an only child and now we are choosing to add another child.  Now that our daughter is older and understands that parents can share their love and attention, we want to share that love and attention with someone who really needs it.  Do we want to start over again with an infant?  No.  Besides, there is part of me that would feel bringing another child into this world would be a selfish thing to do.  We have one that is a product of Hubby and me.  Why not use this opportunity to give to someone who doesn't have?  Why would I create another mini-me when there are children out there without parents?  Not saying that people with more than one boilogical child are making the wrong choice, I'm just saying it is a CHOICE.  A personal choice to say the least.  This is something you really have to feel called to do and we feel that calling.  We feel it is our responsibility to make the world a better place for someone who has known pain and anguish.  To bring love where there may have been none before.  It is not an easy thing to do - emotionally, spiritually, mentally and literally.  But it is a choice we have made.  A choice.  Not a last resort.  So if you know someone who is adopting, please, no matter how hard it is, no matter how curious you may be, don't ask if they can't have any children of their own.  Take care of your own business and not other people's.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hold on to Your Cookies

Ladies and Gentlmen, welcome to our ride.  Please keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times.  Stay seated and do not remove your safety harness.  We are glad you are here and hope that you enjoy your ride on the Adoption Roller Coaster.

Yes, that's actually what it feels like.  I'm not kidding.  Yesterday, I was in total gloomsville after being turned down for one child after another.  Today, I am high as a kite.  Yesterday, late afternoon, I spoke to the social worker for our front-runner.  She was ecstatic to hear from me and was thrilled to hear that we are still interested.  We set up a date for a "Family Team Meeting" where us, our worker, her worker, her foster parents, and her therapist will all have a conference call about the front-runner.  Then we will review a presentation notebook that is basically everything you ever wanted to know about front-runner but were afraid to ask.  If we are still in it for the long haul after that one, then the social worker, the therapist, and foster parents sit front runner down and tell her they have a family for her.  I think she will be happy.  Once she finds out we are approximately 20 hours away in Suburbia maybe not so much.  But that is what her team is there for.  They are there to help her understand that this is a good thing.  If she is ok with everything, then we start visits and she will eventually move in with us.  So even though we could hit a snag somewhere along the way, it is looking very good for us.  So at the moment I am on cloud nine.  I am relishing this time in heaven for fear I come crashing back down to earth with another disappointment.  Up and down.  Up and down. Upside down and inside out.  With each phone call, we are whipped one direction and then another.  When you get off this ride, you are definitely ready to toss your cookies. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust . . . and . . . Another . . . and . . . Well . . . You Can See Where This is Going

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Now that the lovey-dovey stuff is out of the way, let's get on with this. 

After reading our front-runners background information on Wednesday, we are still interested in her.  I called her worker Thursday morning and afternoon leaving messages both times.

We had our meeting on Friday with another county's social services agency.  It went condially.  We went.  It was pointed out to us why we would not be a good match.  My faults were pointed out.  Just mine.  We requested more information about the girl.  We never got it.  We decided that she is not the girl for us and they are not the agency we want to work with.  Oh well, officially cross another one off of the list.  Meanwhile, we waited for a call back from front-runners worker.  I left two more messages that afternoon.

The weekend passed.  Our daughter had two winter guard competitions and personally did well.  As for the group, not so much.  Let's just say they have yet to crack the top three places.  We are holding out hope for their big trip next weekend out of state.  All weekend we tried to put it out of our minds because we knew there was no reason for us to even hope that she would call till Monday.

And so we arrive here at Monday.  I have called twice already and gotten her voicemail which says she will be out the 10th of February and will return calls the next day.  I didn't leave another message because I don't want to appear stalker-creepy.  I know they are busy but we are waiting.  That child is waiting.  So much hangs in the balance.  This morning there was a placement meeting for one of the other girls we had inquired about.  They determined they cannot place her with us because of her special needs and my anxiety and prescribed medication.  What is that supposed to mean?  Oh heck no, I don't feel discriminated against because of my "disability".  No worries.  I won't spend the afternoon trying to feel like its not my fault that we aren't being considered.  I wonder if Hubby was adopting on his own if he'd have a child by now?  Seriously.  Oh well, officially cross another one off the list.  So I wait.  Anxiously.  When I'm done posting this, I will send an email to our front-runner's worker.  Maybe we'll get through that way.  In the meantime I'll feel like crap because I am obviously a big part of the reason why they won't place a child with us. 

This process is excruciating.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Innards Peace

We got the background information on the girl we are most interested in today and there's nothing in there that would make me say no.  So many others had a "yeah but" or a "well" that made me . . . or rather us . . . hesitate.  It was exactly the opposite as I thought it would happen.  I thought I would see a picture and know in my gut.  Instead, I saw a picture and thought "she's cute" but there's got to be a catch.  Maybe I had just been let down too many times to allow myself to get in too deep.  I never got my hopes up.  I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  There had to be a hitch.  There had to be something that would make us say no.  But so far, there's not.  Its difficult, but I'm still trying not to fall in love with her.  I'm still trying to figure out what is wrong.  I haven't accepted the fact that there may be nothing wrong.  My gut is telling me to approach with caution.  But I need to remember that my gut is wrong a lot of the time.  I have to learn to listen to my gut . . . and then run in the other direction.  My gut is telling me to be on guard.  My gut is not telling me that this is positively the right one for us and that could very likely mean she IS the right one for us. Maybe I should get a gut transplant.  One that's a little more accurate.  Until then I just have to do the opposite of what it tells me.  If only my heart and my brain could talk to my gut and convince it there is nothing to be afraid of.  Why can't my organs communicate with one another?  If there was harmony amongst my insides then I feel I could experience peace in this life changing situation.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Gotcha!  The title was interesting so you thought "How can she possibly have an entire blog posting about ketchup?".  Wrong.  Today I've decided to do a little "ketchup" to update you on some things I have posted about in the past.  This should bring you up to speed:

-  We have found insurance for our vacant property through a different company.  We were contacted by our Nationwide agent after the holidays at which point he told us they had an underwriter who would gladly handle our needs.  We asked for a quote.  Four days later, he called again while we were out.  He left a message (at closing time on a Friday) but no quote and then wished us a Happy Holidays even though it was nearing mid-January.  This just confirmed for us that they don't care, they don't want our business, and they don't look at the calendar.  We never received a quote in the mail.  We did receive a phone call a few days AFTER our drop date.  They tried to sell us life insurance.  If you have Nationwide Insurance through our former agent, you have my pity.  (See "Insuring a Perfect Holiday")

-  We are headed this Friday to our interview at the other county's social services place.  I don't know if I really want to be doing this or not.  It feels like a commitment even though I know that we can still say no if we want.  Just not looking forward to going in there and defending myself from the attack that is sure to happen.  We have a few other leads we are following that we are more interested in and look more promising.  I will be sure to medicate before the interview. (See "Under the Microscope" and "Moving On, Hanging Out and Trying to Look Up")

-  I am sick of snow.  After a few more snow storms and an ice storm, I am ready for winter to be over.  Luckily, during the ice storm we did not lose our power but we did lose our cable which is enough to make you lose your mind.  After reading, stitching, scrapbooking, playing Wii, playing games and watching movies, we were out of ideas.  We tried to be thankful that we still had power but it was hard to feel good about our situation without the TV to show us people in even worse situations.  The news may be full of negativity but it sure makes you feel good about your own life.  (See "I'm Dreaming of a White Tuesday)

-  Not all children in foster care exclusively love horses.  Most love dolphins as well.  While the horses seem a constant staple, the dolphins appear to be growing in popularity.  I am all for this since I don't recall being allergic to dolphins.  Not that I've really had the chance to find out, but I've been to Sea World and didn't sneeze even once.  Anyway, I'm going to emphasize my family's love of dolphins in the hopes of distracting from the fact that I don't have a horse . . . or a trampoline.  (See "Wanted: Family - Must LOVE Horses")

 -  After much internal wrestling with the subject, I mellowed out a bit on "the song" from the show.  I had to do some coercing of Hubby to get him to accept going to the show, but eventually he did.  So we all went to see the show and heard "the song".  Some of the subject matter was a bit adult oriented.  I'm not sure our daughter got all of the jokes and if she did - I don't want to know.  The show was hilarious and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Overall, it was a nice afternoon out - even with the erection.  (See "Sex Education: The Musical Version" and "Sex Education: The Musical Version - The Sequel")

So that's about all there is.  If I have forgotten to update you on something and you are interested in hearing more about it, just comment on this posting and I will try to catch you up even more.  Until next time, enjoy your ketchup.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mix It Up

I have made a recent rediscovery.  I love music.  I'm not talking about turning on the radio in the car and singing along with whatever happens to be on.  I'm talking about finding those old favorites, digging them out and dusting them off.  Reconnect with yourself through music.  Remember who you are.  For most people, who they are is easily reflected in the music they like.  Find those songs that, as far as you're concerned, just won't ever be out of style.  Make a collection.  Remember the old mix tape?  Remember sitting there with the cassette recorder trying to get the perfect mix?  Getting that seamless line up where the songs flow and aren't all disjointed.  I have made some mix CDs recently and I am so loving them.  I have one of upbeat stuff and one of mellow stuff and one of my top favs.  So I encourage you to get in touch with yourself through melodies, rhythms and lyrics.  You'll be surprised the memories and the moods they evoke.  If you're looking for something new, here's my current top ten.  What's yours?

10.  And So It Goes - Billy Joel
9.  Banana Pancakes - Jack Johnson
8.  The Way - Fastball
7.  Human - The Killers
6.  I Want Love - Elton John
5.  Santa Monica - Everclear
4.  One of God's Better People - Robbie Williams
3.  Just a Girl - No Doubt
2.  Good Riddance - Green Day
1.  Gravity - Sara Bareilles

Happy Listening!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sex Education: The Musical Version - The Sequel

As many of you will remember from my January 13, 2011 post "Sex Education: The Musical Version", I was rather furious with City Playhouse for their lack of a warning on a musical being performed there.  The musical contained a song about a specific private male bodily function to put it mildly.  I was not sure I was comfortable with my daughter hearing this song so I sent them an e-mail asking that they send me my tickets so that I could either sell them or give them away.  After nearly two weeks without hearing anything, I got Hubby to call the box office and find out what was happening.  He explained that we wouldn't be able to attend the performance and City Playhouse quickly offered to cancel our tickets and issue us gift certificates for a future show.  Great!  This was a wonderful solution!  So we waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . and yesterday in the mail we got . . . (wait for it) . . . OUR TICKETS!  Not gift certificates as promised but our tickets!  Hubby no longer wanted to go and I couldn't go without him even though I had mellowed out to the show content.  With four days to go before the performance, the likelihood of us finding someone to buy/take the tickets seemed slim to none.  Our daughter was busy through this whole incident texting her BFF with a blow by blow description of our dilemma.  Then BFF told her mother and they offered to buy the two adult tickets.  Cool!  We unloaded them at a price of two for one.  Now with only a student ticket left we were considering our options when BFF invited my daughter to join her mom and her with the extra student ticket.  Nice.  Thanks BFF.  Torn on whether the content would bother her, I allowed my daughter  to listen to said song on the computer to see her reaction.  Naive mother that I am, she was totally okay with it (there were even a few giggles).  So now on Sunday, Hubby and I will sit at home while our daughter goes with BFF and her mom to the show with the song that I didn't want her to hear in the first place.  Ironic ain't it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fit . . . Fat . . . What's One Little Vowel?

I hate to use the word hate so I will start off by saying I have a strong dislike for my birthday gift from last year.  I requested (well, more like begged for it) and received a Wii Fit plus to go with our Wii.  This was going to make me healthy.  This was going to get me active.  This has done nothing but lower my self-esteem.  I no longer refer to it as the Wii Fit.  I call it the Wii Fat because that's what it calls me every time I get on it.  It does some measurements and calculations and basically tells me I'm obese.  What do I mean basically, I mean literally.  The machine makes my little avatar plump up and says "You're obese".  Oh yeah, this sounds like fun.  I wanna go first - not.  There is nothing about this activity that makes me want to participate.  I'm just waiting for the day that I step on and it tells me to please step back off because I'm too heavy.  There is nothing motivating about a computer humiliating you repeatedly.  Its upsetting.  So what's a girl to do.  My big plan of choreographing an exercise routine has fallen through.  I tried a website called FitDay where you enter what you've eaten and your activity to help you burn more calories than you input.  That lasted all of three days.  I have a lot to do in my life and it just so happens that most of it has to be done sitting down.  I can't finish stitching the blanket for my brother's baby while jogging.  I can't write a letter while jumping rope.  The problem here is, and I'm sure many of you can relate to this, I just can't find the time to exercise.  I guess I have to schedule it in and commit to doing it.  I am a stubborn, competitive girl.  I can do this.  (I think I already made this promise in a previous post.)  I can prove the Wii Fat wrong.  I think I'll start . . . maybe tomorrow.  Yeah, I'll start tomorrow . . . or the next day at the latest but definitely at the latest.  :)